In the past, the idea of chartering a private jet was reserved for top business executives or the very wealthy. But a growing company hopes to make lifestyles-of-the-rich-and-famous flying a little more affordable for us all.
How cheap? The company advertises fares starting at $999 from Van Nuys to Las Vegas for a group of four people. That's about the cost a regular airline would charge the same group for flying coach. And the best part, you have the entire plane to yourself.
Alex Wilcox, one of the founders of JetBlue, is JetSuite's CEO. He says their customers range from businessmen to vacationers. The company has learned lessons from the major carriers and tried to apply them to a low-cost model for charter planes.
To control costs, JetSuite uses only one aircraft, the four-seat Embraer Phenom 100. The smaller, lighter aircraft burns about a third as much fuel as its larger cousins.
"It's great, it's very smooth. The wings are relatively short which gives you a higher wing loading which is more stable through the clouds," Wilcox said.
"This jet makes you feel pretty good about yourself and its very cost effective. It's awesome," said Chuck Putnam, a private jet customer.
The company has rapid plans for growth with 12 planes now and 25 on order.